The St. Mary’s Gaels are once again in the national spotlight as the men’s basketball team takes on the Purdue Boilermakers tonight in their first game of the NCAA Tournament.
Today’s game tips off at 4:27p.m. in Omaha, Neb., but local Bay Area fans can gather at one of several parties across the Bay Area including Dryden Hall at St. Mary’s Moraga campus.
There will also be parties at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Walnut Creek, Pete’s Tavern in San Francisco, The HopYard American Alehouse in Pleasanton, Scott’s Seafood in Oakland, Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant in Novato and Britannia Arms in San Jose.
The Gaels are favored to win and they hope to rely on past experience. Seven players were part of the 2009 -2010 team that made the DSweet 16.
The Gaels are also bringing the momentum of winning both the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles. Seventh-seeded St. Mary’s is entering March Madness as one of the country’s top programs against 10th-seeded Purdue.
St. Mary’s enters tonight’s game with a 27-5 overall record and is ranked 16th in this week’s ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The Gaels also ranked 24th in the Associated Press poll this week earning the first ranking in that final poll since 1989.